Tuesday 8 July:
· Maritime New Zealand yesterday completed two surveys and inspections of Aratere required under International Maritime law.
· On Saturday and Sunday, Aratere undertook a SMC (Safety Management Certificate) Audit to verify Interislander safety management system requirements were being met, crew were aware of their obligations, and that compliance records were in place. The Audit also included fire and boat drills which were successfully completed.
· Yesterday, a ‘Flag State Inspection’ took place which included a walk by MNZ inspectors around the ship to check safety equipment condition and operation.
· Both inspections constitute a thorough process, and are designed to subject the ship to in-depth examination before signoff is achieved.
· As should be expected following intense scrutiny of an operational ship, the inspections provided a list of areas for Aratere to work through over the next few days with MNZ.
· Aratere is currently making good progress closing off this list and expects to have completed the work later in the week. However, the timeframe for completing this process cannot be specifically predicted.
· Safety is our top priority and Aratere’s return service will be driven by safety rather than tied to a particular date. KiwiRail’s Senior management team will also give Aratere final signoff only when satisfied.
· Our intention is to start freight sailings later this week, and we expect to be able to give more details about this over the next few days. Meanwhile, Kaitaki and Arahura are covering all freight bookings.
· Aratere is tied up at Aotea Quay.
· Crew are undertaking refamilisation of Safety Management System Training drills (occur weekly).